As I try to stem where my passion for health and fitness began, I can root it right back to my childhood; from when I used to compete as a gymnast and participated in every sport my high school had to offer. Back then I thought Physiotherapy was what I wanted to do as a career. A year into my degree I realized my heart just wasn’t in it. After failing a quarter of one of my modules and not being able to continue (yes- a QUARTER?!), I decided to take a year out of studying and enroll myself onto a Sports Science BSc degree. Coming from an Indian family with strong values, I thought it was the end of the world, when in fact it turned out to be one of the best blessings in disguise!
Like a typical student, I neglected my diet and activity levels whilst I was studying Physiotherapy, and unsurprisingly I gained a bit of unhealthy weight. For me, this was a huge shock to the system since I had come from not having to worry about a single thing I ate affecting my body image, to having to actually work hard to maintain a decent shape! That Summer was a major turning point for me as I ended up joining a gym for the very first time only to find how much I loved it, to then taking up some work experience as a fitness coach, and volunteering at the London 2012 Olympics. By the end of the year, for the first time ever I felt like I knew exactly what I wanted and became more focused on my studies and love for health & fitness than ever! I not only completed my BSc degree in Sports Science with flying colours, but also gained my Level 3 Personal Training and Sports Massage Certificates in between my university studies.
As for becoming a sponsored athlete, I would say the power of social media played a huge part. After experiencing the loss of my Grandma to poor health and trying to combat anemia without the help of iron tablets myself, I delved into researching and implementing my nutritional findings to my own lifestyle. With the success of combating anemia, refining my physique, and going against the typical Indian culture career route by competing in my first physique show whilst working as a Personal Trainer, I started posting content on my Instagram account @gchopra_thefitlife. It was not only to track my own health & fitness progress, but in the hopes of motivating and inspiring as many people as possible to make healthier lifestyle changes and fulfill their aspirations too. At that time I had no intention of becoming sponsored- I didn’t even really know what it even meant! However, the fact that I was passionate about helping people with their health and fitness goals and using only the best quality products to help them achieve that (such as those from Reflex Nutrition), clearly didn’t go unnoticed.
With all that said, I truly believe that anyone can be as successful as they set their own limits. If you are truly passionate about something and want it to become your full time career, you can, and will always find a way to make it work, and your hard work will be rewarded when you’re least expecting it. I know it may sound easy for me to say that, but my life has by no means been straight forward. In fact, quite the opposite! I’ve failed exams, I’ve gone against what I ‘should’ do as a sensible option on many occasions, sometimes the risks haven’t paid off, and there have been struggles in all aspects of my life along the way. However, without all those things, I wouldn’t now have my own amazing London-based gym facility, be working with some amazing companies and individuals, or be doing everything I thought was once just a dream!
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you- but life’s not easy. You have to go through the hard graft and look for the positives in all aspects of your journey even when you’re at your lowest. Over time I have become a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and if you want something badly enough, you will find a way to make it work.
As cheesy as it sounds, it all starts with a dream, a goal, and the determination to make them a reality.